6 Key characteristics of an effective pharma sales rep


Why do I want to be a Pharma sales representative?

The pharmaceutical sales field is often described as “recession-proof” as it has first-rate salary potential and offers flexibility, growth opportunities, and excellent benefits. Increasing life expectancies and improved quality of life count among the factors driving the expansion of the pharmaceutical sector. Although getting yourself into the sector as a graduate shouldn’t be too difficult; climbing the ladder of Pharma sales success is a very tricky challenge.  

Here at Congrego we work with pharmaceutical companies and their reps across the world implementing our product to revolutionise their sales forces from improved mobile training to the creation of modern interactive sales details. Over the last five years we’ve developed a strong understanding of what pharmaceutical companies look for in their reps and what the reps need in order to do their job better. We have also learnt what customers want when they are approached by a sales representative.

Pharma sales is definitely not easy!

The qualities pharmaceutical companies tend to look for in a sales rep candidate are sometimes obvious but should never be forgotten, a successful candidate can sometimes let the success of their four year university degree and consequent job offer blind them causing them to forget how competitive Pharma sales really is. As much as there are great benefits to being a pharmaceutical sales rep, you really to have to continuously evaluate whether or not you are continuing to demonstrate the key factors that make a great sales rep throughout your career.



I have decided to condense my thoughts on what makes the perfect sales rep into six very simple, key characteristics that I think every rep should follow as their ‘daily check list’.  



Pharmaceutical companies favour people who are very positive. The job isn’t for those who are ‘weak and fragile’’. The sales rep hiring process can be grueling with multiple interviews and many rejections. In a way, it gives aspiring pharmaceutical sales personnel a taste of what the actual sales representative job would be like. For experienced sales reps maintaining the same level of positivity that you started your career with can sometimes be a challenge because there will be some really shoddy periods but it’s important to wake up each day with a smile on your face and an attitude that says ‘I am good, i can keep getting better’. No sales representative should ever settle for their current figures no matter how good they are. Keep getting up every day and believing in your ability to stand out from the crowd.



The world has gone digital, and while in some respects pharmaceutical companies haven’t all been as agile as the tech startup community, the more you are able to immerse yourself in what technology makes possible, the more of an edge you’ll have.

A lot of the time sales reps aren’t given the time of day so don’t waste your precious time with paper brochures and documents on your laptops – or you’ll spend more time sorting through your information than engaging with the person stood right in front of you.



Not only do you need to be prepared to ask and answer questions regarding the firm’s products when you first get an interview, but you’ll really need to know your products when you’re out in the field. With training days coming far and few you need to make sure you’re spending your downtime between meetings brushing up on your stuff. You’re most likely using modern sales aids and videos in your pitches that can sometimes make a sale for you but i’d like to remind you ‘people buy from people’. It’s all well and good having all the information on your tablet to wave at someone but if you have to stare and read directly from an iPad you’re really going to struggle to get a sale.



While professionalism is integral in many sales fields and speaks for itself in many ways, pharma reps need an especially strong professional attitude. Pharmaceuticals is a huge industry with many billion-dollar companies making a huge impact on the medical profession and consumer health decisions all over the world. Projecting a professional image is important to maintain and build a good reputation. Additionally, pharmaceutical sales reps spend significant time meeting with doctors and other medical professionals who won’t give a rep the time of day if he/she doesn’t present themselves professionally through the way they dress to acting with proper business etiquette.



Pharma sales is a highly competitive, cutthroat environment. Companies can’t afford reps who don’t meet targets or keep up with reps from competing companies. Being goal oriented and ambitious drives reps toward success and helps you overcome obstacles.

A goal-oriented sales representative will operate efficiently, manage their time and assert themselves across the board. Additionally, competitive reps don’t stop at the first “no.” They continue to overcome objections and think of creative ways to achieve their goals without gaining a reputation for being ‘annoying’ within the industry.



The final ingredient. Have patience; don’t let challenges hold you back, keep trying, push through the tough times and you’ll see how rewarding it can be to work as a pharmaceutical sales rep.


Make sure you have all the ingredients!

Although we can’t tell you how to be the perfect sales rep; If you can develop all the ingredients that i’ve touched on then i’m sure you’ll see success but it’s down to you. Just be careful of the domino effect… If one of these is missing, the rest could fall.

Are you concerned your sales team are using out of date materials? Congrego is the most reliable solution.

blogpost3Does this sound familiar? Printing materials, distributing them, updating data, recalling them, destroying them; and then going through the whole cycle again just to ensure your sales team and staff are equipped with the correct materials! –

Well those days are long gone.

Sadly though with the ease of use that digital materials have provided they came baring new challenges and concerns. Are the right versions being used? Where are they being sent without my knowledge? Is out of date content being distributed? Well… If any of this sounds familiar then I have good news for you.

Congrego takes all the worry away. Designed with healthcare regulations in mind, content sent to Congrego is carefully controlled in a number of ways;

  • It always syncs automatically on every iPad so content is always updated
  • The remote content withdrawal option immediately disables content on Congrego
  • Content can be set with an automatic expiry – not even a sync is required to ensure a document cannot be used before or past a certain date
  • Content cannot be saved to the iPad or shared with anyone else – unless you specifically allow it (control down to individual content assets)

Using Congrego not only provides the easiest and quickest route of getting materials to your sales team…. it’s also the safest and most controlled.

Want your sales team to email approved PDFs to customers whilst on the move? – it’s easy with Congrego!


I’m sure you often find yourself in a situation where being able to instantly send a customer a PDF with a few clicks would be incredibly useful and also make you look more professional. The days of paperwork are gone; you don’t want to have to print documents or take notes on what files people want to see and then wait until you’re back at the office to attach a PDF to an email and then send it to someone!

With Congrego you can create and approve PDF’s and then directly sync them to the specific members of your sales team that you wish to use them. They can then pick the file they need  in front of the customer and click ‘send PDF using one time only permission’ then type in their email and the customer will instantly receive the documents they want.

The one time permission email feature can be set for any document you have downloaded so you can easily send files upon request within seconds. This feature is hugely popular with our clients because it allows for efficiency and simplifies communication between the sales team and the customers. 


Need to show a customer a website when you have no Internet? Relax, we have it covered.


One of our clients wanted to showcase a patient support website to clinical nurses, but had limited internet access within the hospital. Congrego saved the day as our system uniquely allows clients to upload full websites and use our local storage on their iPad. This means the site works perfectly even with no internet connection.

Although this may sound time consuming and complicated, the client’s site was approved for tablet use, uploaded and distributed to relevant team members within 48 hours.

This feature is incredibly useful for sales reps to have at their disposal, as it allows them to demonstrate their point effectively, while avoiding embarrassing internet connection issues. 

You can have a fully functioning, interactive and responsive websites at your fingertips with no internet connection what so ever. This is a feature that has been hugely popular with all our clients. You may be thinking – How often will i be in the situation where i have no internet when presenting to a customer or lead? Well i think we all know some of the best opportunities spark from the strangest sources! You also have to remember that even if you’re connected to wifi, that connection can be slow, interrupted or not consistent so with congrego you can present your site with no interruptions and present at an impressive speed avoiding those awkward silences whilst pages load.

Find uploading videos and sharing on your iPad expensive and time consuming?


Ever noticed how difficult it can be to upload and share videos on iPads?

Many of our customers have wanted to use mode of action videos and animations in their dynamic projects but lack the capabilities on their current platforms.

Rather than wasting time and money on resources to help video uploads, Congrego has created a platform where you can upload videos in a quick and easy way for free, whenever you want.

We allow for multiple video file uploads and they can be shared instantly with anyone you wish to share them with… you don’t even have to worry about storage as that is unlimited so you can forget about dropbox!

Another key benefit is that if a video is updated on the server, with one simple click, every member of staff will have the video updated on their iPads in a matter of seconds.

Congrego is all about efficiency and flexibility; our video upload platform is just one example of how we save you time, money and energy.  

Want to measure your business conference impact and audience opinions instantly?


Whilst working with a major pharmaceutical company this year they raised a major concern with monitoring the effectiveness of their conference and speaker meetings they were having with customers. It was hard for them to gage whether these meetings were useful or if they needed to change their approach.

We eagerly introduced them to the Congrego Questionnaire Service that provided them with intuitive, quick ways to solve this issue.

Using the Congrego survey module the client was able to rapidly build a questionnaire and instantly deploy this to all their staff at the conference. This enabled staff to get customers to give immediate, relevant feedback without any hassle.

That is not the best part: Congrego collects the data from every completed questionnaire and it is automatically sent for review in the head office, with no fuss, and no delays.

When the client used these services at their next conference they were able to change elements of the event, such as refreshments, based on the customer preferences they were able to monitor. The client was also able to discover that the customers felt a summary newsletter from the key speakers would be greatly appreciated for the future.

They now use these questionnaires to continue to improve their conferences with great effect!

Need to inform and train staff in a hurry ?


One of our customers needed help with adjusting sales collateral fast when their oncology product gained a new indication more rapidly than they expected. They needed to update sales materials and regulatory documents as quick as possible as well as train their national sales team…

To some, this task may have seemed impossible. But not to Congrego!

We were able to immediately update the sales materials and link them to a distinct training module and validation quiz.  The validation quiz meant that KAM’s and MSL’s had to complete the training and score at least 90% in order to be able to download and view the new material. This was all controlled through the app, ensuring maximum performance on a national scale.

In just 10 days, all their sales reps were trained and able to access the new materials, nationally.

Want to train your sales reps simultaneously, across the country?


Congrego offers an easy way for you to create training content and easily share it with your remote teams on their iPads, allowing you to track their progress at any time.

Congrego also allows you to upload training material and associate it with an assessment or quiz for your team.

This package can be made available to the appropriate staff in the field – allowing them to complete the training when most convenient for them.
The user-focussed interface makes undertaking training and completing the assessment simple and easy, with no wasted time or connectivity issues, a common issue with remote training.

Congrego training offers:
• Engagement – Create compelling and interactive training materials, utilizing the best of online learning including audio, video and animation tools.
• Flexibility – Train staff when most convenient
• Efficiency – Reduce downtime with staff off the road

The training module includes a complete assessment dashboard, which can be reviewed by a training manager. It can track validation scores, attempts, time completed, time it took to complete and follow-up assets.

Congrego allows you to link assessment results to other assets in the management software – to ensure staff can only use presentations they are accredited to show.

Insights, advice and support